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Multicultural Education in the Australian Context: An Historical Overview

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Learning from Difference: Comparative Accounts of Multicultural Education

Part of the book series: Multilingual Education ((MULT,volume 16))

Abstract

Australia’s experience of multicultural education, in its various phases arose at the intersection of the nation-shaping circumstances of British-loyalty, Indigenous-oppression and reconciliation politics, geographic anxiety, mass settler-recruiting immigration, the US Alliance, Asia-literacy, economic crisis and rejuvenation, educational experimentation and innovation. These elements are discussed chronologically from the inception of multicultural discourses in the early 1970s to the tenuous and contentious position of the multicultural interpretation of Australia today, and can be organized under wider themes of demography, geography and economy.

Three phases of Australian ‘learning from difference’ in education are discussed in the chapter, a phase commonly known as multiculturalism, a replacement phase called ‘Asianism’ and neo-liberal based education reform called ‘economism’. These are discussed in the chapter in relation to three points of reference: (i) language policy; (ii) the prevailing political ideology; (iii) the focus on Asia in public debate and in each case reference is made to questions of geography, demography and economy.

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Correspondence to Joseph Lo Bianco .

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Lo Bianco, J. (2016). Multicultural Education in the Australian Context: An Historical Overview. In: Lo Bianco, J., Bal, A. (eds) Learning from Difference: Comparative Accounts of Multicultural Education. Multilingual Education, vol 16. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-26880-4_2

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-26880-4_2

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-26879-8

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-319-26880-4

  • eBook Packages: EducationEducation (R0)

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